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Removing Chemicals of Consumer Concern

May 18, 2017 | Sustainability

Our customers have spoken, and they've told us that they prefer to purchase products that are effective but contain fewer ingredients of concern. In response, CVS Health announced that we will be removing parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors (preservative ingredients that can release formaldehyde over time) from our store brand CVS Health, Beauty 360, Essence of Beauty, and Blade product lines. We will begin rolling out products that do not contain these ingredients to our CVS Pharmacy stores in the months following the April 2017 announcement, and plan to stop shipping products that don't meet these standards to our distribution centers by the end of 2019.

Customer Feedback Helps Drive Decisions

This move is part of our journey toward more sustainable products that satisfy consumer expectations.

“We listened when customers voiced their desire for products that provide the benefits they need with fewer ingredients of concern,” said Cia Tucci, Vice President of Store Brands and Quality Assurance at CVS Health. “[Our] announcement is a natural step in the evolution of our comprehensive approach to chemical safety.”


In addition to announcing this "free from" milestone in April 2017, we also published our full list of restricted chemicals by category. This list will be updated on an annual basis. View the list.


Our store brand products have always been subject to stringent standards of safety, quality and environmental responsibility and – at a minimum – meet all federal and state requirements; customer feedback has driven this move to eliminate parabens, phthalates and the most prevalent formaldehyde donors. In addition, we’ve engaged with industry experts and key advocacy groups to ensure that product quality can be maintained through the transition.

Maintaining Transparency

Our chemical policy has evolved based on a foundation laid over the last decade to advance our chemical management efforts. In 2007, we became the first major drugstore to establish a Cosmetic Safety Policy.

Since then, CVS Health has made substantial progress toward sustainable chemical management, including:

  • The launch of the WERCSmart tool in 2013 to ensure suppliers register ingredient information for all chemical-based products.

  • In 2016, we became the first major pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory of the Chemical Footprint Project.

“Our consumers expect both transparency and quality when it comes to ingredients in the products they use,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President of CSR and Philanthropy at CVS Health. “This is an important step, and we look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders to address additional chemicals of consumer concern and focus on more product categories in the future.”